A pale of gloom descended Ashtengoo village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Friday when bodies of a slain youth and a cop reached their homes.
Naseer-ud-din Sheikh, 26, fell prey to the bullets of security forces in Rangreth Srinagar while Shahzad Ahmad Sofi, 28, a cop, became victim of a militant attack in Hyderpora on same day.
Coincidently, the slain duo belonged to the same village and their houses are located at a walking distance from each other. Their death was mourned by everyone in the village. People from all walks of life of the village and other adjoining villages participated in their last rites.
“Thousands of people participated in their funeral prayers in a local Eidgah. Naseer was laid to rest at around 8 in the morning as his body had reached home in the wee hours,” said a local witness.
He said that Naseer was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in the village amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans while women showered petals on his funeral procession.
Soon after, the body of Shahzad reached his home. His body was kept in a local school ground for some time. Pro-freedom slogans reverberated during his funeral procession too.
A witness said that thousands of people participated in funeral prayers of Shahzad amid pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans.
Naseer had left for Srinagar for work almost a month ago with the promise that he would return home on Arafah – a day before Eid.
He fell prey to bullets when SSB personnel fired upon stone throwing youth in Rangreth area of Srinagar late last evening. He was working as a welder in a private steel agency in Rangreth. He was married last year. His wife, Zainab, is a Hafiz-e-Quran.
Quoting his colleagues, his father Ghulam Mohi-ud-din said that Naseer had gone out from his room after finishing day’s work at around 5 pm to buy bread for Iftar. His colleagues heard firing shots and loud hue and cry. “When they came out to see what has happened. They saw Naseer lying on ground in a pool of blood. They gave him a glass of water but he refused saying that he was on fast. This is the last thing he said.”
Bandipora cop was lone bread winner for his family:
The slain cop was the lone bread winner for his family as he had lost his father in childhood.
Shahzad Ahmad Sofi is survived by his wife, 18 month old twin sons, mother and his elder brother.
“He was not happy with his job as a policeman but he was helpless given the condition of his family. He had joined police in 2008 but he was not regular to his duty as did not like this job. Many a times he was issued explanations by his department for not attending his duties regularly,” said one of his relatives.